Learn more about IRW’s staff!

Jan Coates, Executive Director

As founding Executive Director, Jan provides leadership and oversight to all things IRW. She is currently focusing on organizational planning and design, staff development, constituent engagement, and fund-raising.

Prior to founding IRW in 2006, Jan was a senior administrator/Dean at Albion College in Michigan and Hamilton College in New York, then owner and manager of Port In A Storm Bookstore in Somesville, ME.

Jan holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University and currently serves on the Rudman Library Trust Grant Committee of the Maine Community Foundation and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve. She resides in Hall Quarry on Mount Desert Island.

Book jacket: “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” by Crockett Johnson

Send Jan an email: jcoates@islandreadersandwriters.org

Ruth Feldman, Program Director

Ruth leads IRW’s ongoing expansion efforts in Washington County; creates programs that excite kids to love reading and learning; continues to develop partnerships and community relationships; and ensures meaningful program assessment and documentation.

She has been an independent consultant in the social entrepreneurial field, and most recently served as Executive Director of the Project for School Innovation in Boston, MA.

Ruth holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She has been a Peace Corps volunteer and Fulbright Scholar.  She resides with her family in Milbridge, ME.

Book jacket: “The Little Prince,” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Send Ruth an email: rfeldman@islandreadersandwriters.org

Alison Johnson, Program Assistant for Washington County

Alison supports the Program Director as a key link to IRW’s school and community partners in Washington County and works to increase our presence and impact throughout the area. She also researches community partners who may be able to help forward our work around intergenerational reading experiences, and assists with pre-visit IRW orientations at schools.

She began her nonprofit work as director of the summer arts festival for Schoodic Arts for All and has served on several area nonprofit boards including the Schoodic Community Fund and, currently, the Dorcas Library board and RSU24 school board.

Alison is currently enrolled in the Voluntary Public Librarian Certification Program. She and her family reside in Birch Harbor, ME.

Book jacket: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” by J.K. Rowling.

Send Alison an email: ajohnson@islandreadersandwriters.org

Taylor Mace, Community Engagement Coordinator

Taylor works to promote IRW’s message via its website, social media and regional media outlets. She also oversees IRW’s rich volunteer program, develops community-wide events, assists the Executive Director in developing a robust stewardship program to support IRW’s mission and serves as clerk for the Board of Directors.

Originally from Dallas, Taylor received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Orleans and her Master’s degree in journalism from Boston University. She covered politics and popular culture for local and national publications in Boston and Washington, D.C., before moving to Mount Desert Island, where she covered local news and features for The Ellsworth American, and maintained the sports and maritimes beats at the Mount Desert Islander before joining IRW in 2017.

Taylor resides in Bass Harbor with her family.

Book jacket: “The Story of Ferdinand,” by Munro Leaf

Send Taylor an email: tmace@islandreadersandwriters.org